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Flu jabs

Flu – Why risk it?

The winter weather brings an increase in cases of flu – short for influenza – which is a highly infectious viral illness that is spread by coughing and sneezing.

For many people flu is a nasty experience – like a very bad cold but worse -  with the symptoms of headache, fever, sore throat aching joints and muscles making you retreat to your bed. For some, flu can be even worse, causing more serious illnesses or even result in death.

At risk groups

You are entitled to a free NHS flu vaccination if you are:

  • Aged 65 years or over (*or born on or before 31 March 1955)
  • Pregnant
  • Receiving a carer’s allowance or are a carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
  • Living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
  • Aged between six months and 65 years and have a heart problem, a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, lowered immunity due to disease or treatment, liver disease, had a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA), diabetes, a neurological condition or a problem with or removal of the spleen e.g. sickle cell disease
  • A child aged 2 – 3
  • A child at primary school
  • A frontline health or social care worker

How can I find out more?

You can find out more about flu on the NHS flu and the flu vaccine pages or if you are worried about flu call 111.

Download this leaflet from Public Health England - The Flu Vaccination Winter 2019/20 - It explains how you can help protect yourself and your children against flu this coming winter, and why it’s very important that people who are at increased risk from flu have their free flu vaccination every year.

Your local general practice will hold a flu clinic for those who are eligible for vaccination to attend . Please contact your local surgery or pharmacy for more information.

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